|Knollehof night view|
It was with mixed feelings that we left home for our DXpedition KNL-11. A few days earlier reached us the news that Pieter, the landlord of Knollehof passed suddenly away during a cycling tour on the Kemmelberg (known as one of Flanders classics). More can be read about the story (in Dutch) here. Our thoughts are with Hilde, his wife. It will be difficult times.
This time the weather was nice an dry. A little bit cold and windy but so different from last time in November when we had to dabble in the mud.
Although we arrived somewhere at noon, the 300 meters beverages to North America and Japan and the 400m to Argentina were ready long before dusk. So we had time to run out a 300 meter beverage-on-ground to Africa. The reversible 80-260° beverage had to wait for the next day. A few others guys more interested in shortwave reception were putting up a T2FD, a vertical, a Sony AN1 and an LZ1AQ loop.
This time we were with 8 participants:
The first day, Marc Vissers was fiddling around with his laptops. A few days earlier he copied his Jaguar SDR folder from his PC to his laptops not taking in account that the licence key file wouldn’t correspond with the hardware and left the software running in Lite mode. After some time of banging his head against the wall he finally found the correct licences in an old mail archive. But another strange thing occurred. Quite heavy QRM on certain frequencies hit Guido’s and Frank T’s set up. It sounded like disk writing but even with no disks connected the QRM stayed. The strange thing was that this was not audible on Marc’s set up although everybody was connected to the same antenna set. After a while it went away but it reared its head every now and then again.
It turned out that erecting a BOG to Africa was a good idea while that delivered nice reception from Mozambique, a very nice "First" from Emisora Provincial de Inhamabe, from RN Sao Tomé and Posto Emisor do Funchal in Madeira, several Nigerians and TWR Benin. Also Radio Free Africa from Tanzania was often strong but it took a long time to give a station's ID when signal was much weaker.
Thursday the 2nd and Friday 3rd were the better days for Africa. Saturday the 4th was the best morning for Trans-Atlantics, both North and South. The afternoon was nice to the Far East. Marc was the first to to squeeze out an extremely nice Philippines log of DYVS-AM FEBC, the Sweet Voice of Salvation on 1233 kHz. That is very seldomly heard in Europe but has of course to do with the fact that UK’s Absolute Radio left the channel.
On Sunday the 5th several Koreans were heard and still one Japanese (1278 kHz JOFR). The differences from day-to-day were much larger than seen before. Often there was also a lot of choice stress. Do I stay on this antenna or switch to another one ? Marc made the right decision just in time to get a nice ID from TWR Benin on 1476 kHz before their close down for the day.
Besides DXing, there are also other tasks to take into account like keeping the wood stove burning. Or keeping Kastaar, the local cat outside. Tasks that should not be underestimated.
Soon it was Monday the 6th and it was again time to leave Knollehof for this edition. But just before starting to pack Cadena 3 (700 kHz) from Argentina, Radio Maranatha (1440 kHz) Managua, Nicaragua and Radio Monte Carlo (930 kHz), Montevideo, Uruguay and hit our antennas. The latter one was however very weak.